The Research

This study incorporates a household survey and interviews with parents and caregivers, workshops and engagement with local stakeholders.


Study Specifics

We are conducting a three-year study looking at why, despite numerous actions to address disparities in child weight and diet between families in different London neighbourhoods, these continue to increase. The aim of the research is to provide Local Authorities with information on the most effective range of interventions to achieve more impact.

Household survey of food practices

A household survey is being conducted with families across several London neighbourhoods with the aim of understanding the different food practices of children and their caregivers. This will provide valuable information about how food habits vary between families and the potential impact of different levels of income. The survey will be conducted by Natcen Social Research interviewers who have extensive experience of undertaking household surveys.

Neighbourhood interviews

Interviews will be conducted with families by accompanying them during their normal local daily routines. These interviews are aiming to find out about how families experience existing actions addressing child health, weight and food. These “Go-along” interviews will be conducted during journeys to school, local shops and community activities. This is intended to provide local context to how actions are experienced while they are being experienced by children and their care givers.

Interactive stakeholder workshops

Interactive stakeholder workshops will be held with policy and decision-makers, and with local caregivers involved in the neighbourhood interviews to understand what are the factors that promote and create barriers to engaging with actions on healthier child diets and weight. These Group Model Building workshops engage participants in a collaborative discussion to create a visual picture (Causal Loop Diagrams) and a shared understanding of the reasons why current actions are not having the expected effects.

Public & Stakeholder engagement

A caregiver advisory panel will provide the viewpoints of parents, carergivers and people passionate about child health in to the research as it develops and is implemented. The panel will consider key questions that arise from the researche to provide valuable insights from local people caring for children within London communities. In addition, a stakeholder steering group of national, regional and local policy and decision-makers will ensure that the research remains relevent to the professionals responsible for developing and implementing policies on child weight and diet and local action plans.

Intervention costings

An economic analysis will be undertaken to understand the costs of interventions that are currently funded by Local Authorities and other organisations that operate in selected London neighbourhoods. Once the study has identified actions as more effective and equitable for delivery by London boroughs, these adapted interventions will be costed. The economic analysis will allow the assessment of the affordability of these actions and allow resources to be allocated in a more rational manner.

Mapping the food environment

The environment mapping will involve the systematic collection of data along the routes taken by families during their neighbourhood interviews. This will involve the researcher observing and recording environmental factors such as advertisements, food retail outlets, food banks and takeaways as well as the location of existing interventions. Also, an assessment of food retail stores in terms of the presence, price and quality of food products. It will produce visually engaging maps to effectively communicate study findings.



Contact Us

Please contact us at the following:

Centre for Food Policy,
City, University of London,
Northampton Square,
London EC1V 0HB

Leave A Message